Retreating Into The Open, Advancing Into The Dark

When the rain stopped she emerged from her house, under some leaves, in a hidey hole, and emerged from her private world into the big bright wide world of burning sun drying damp grass and rain drops occasionally rolling off leaves at the end of tree branches and splashing, in ones and twos, onto the pathway in front of the back door. She made her way gingerly at first. The heat prickled her body and her legs, all of them, and she began moving more confidently. She was enjoying being outside and in the open. She climbed the trunk of the peach tree and walked along the length of one branch to where it overhung the washing line. She lowered herself carefully and sat on top of a stripey tea towel right through the afternoon, sunning herself. She wasn’t ordinarily that into the heat, but her little house had been partially flooded with all the rain, and when the drops fell with less intensity and she could tell the rain would soon pass she was ready to get out for a little while. She needed to dry out. It was natural. What spider wouldn’t want to do that?

Will there be an end to this unholy noise? he wondered. They were just outside. Just beyond the window, which was at his window, and they were drilling and grinding, and using a full range of scaled up dentist’s instruments to wear away the excess concrete on the outside of the building. The drills and other tools produced loud noises, varying in pitch, some more intense than others, and all relentless. He sat at his desk and tried to hear himself think. He tried to clear his thoughts. He tried to focus on anything that wasn’t the noise. The first few days of the maintenance work, as the building’s owners had called it, he had got up to go for a walk when the loudness started. But that didn’t do much good. It was still going on when he returned, and it kept going on for hours. For hours. There was green mesh covering the window, yet still high pressure water leaked through the seals in the windows and left unsightly stains, and the shapes of men working beyond were just dark and shadowy and indistinct. They seemed huge. They seemed huge and ominous and it was as if there was an evil presence beyond the window, on the scaffolding, walking slowly along the gantry high above ground level. It was infecting his brain. They were so close. It was like they were strangling him from within and from without at the same time and he wanted it to stop. He wouldn’t show them but he wasn’t coping well at all. He heard the whirring and grinding when he went home. It stayed in his head and he found himself dreaming about it. He knew that couldn’t be good. It was supposed to leave you alone. They were supposed to leave you alone, weren’t they?

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Published in: on September 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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